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The Catholicity of the Church$
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Avery Dulles

Print publication date: 1987

Print ISBN-13: 9780198266952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198266952.001.0001

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Conclusion Prospects for Catholicity

Conclusion Prospects for Catholicity

(p.167) Conclusion Prospects for Catholicity
The Catholicity of the Church

Avery Dulles (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The catholicity of the Church is her participation in the divine catholicity, made present in time through Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Church is a visible sign or sacrament of a universal communion, symbolically realized at Pentecost but never completely achieved within history. The ‘catholic principle’ imparts reverence for and confidence in the visible structures of mediation given to the Church by God; it should never be allowed to turn the attention of the faithful away from God. Catholicity today confronts three major obstacles: the confessional divisions among Christians, the cultural captivity of the Church, and the apparently greater capacity of some secular movements to overcome human divisions. In the last analysis, catholicity, with its transcendent ground, is uniquely qualified to overcome these obstacles.

Keywords:   Catholic principle, culture, inculturation, structures

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